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How Your Albuquerque HVAC Works Explained

Heating and cooling systems are essential for regulating indoor temperatures and providing comfortable living spaces. For residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico, HVAC (heating, ventilation,How Your Albuquerque HVAC Works Explained and air conditioning) systems play a crucial role in maintaining indoor climate control amid hot summers and potentially cold winters.

Understanding the key components and workings of local Albuquerque HVAC systems allows homeowners to operate them more efficiently, identify issues, and select the right system. This comprehensive guide will provide an in-depth explanation of how Albuquerque HVAC systems function along with the various types used in area homes and best practices for choosing a correctly sized system.

Key Components of an Albuquerque HVAC System

A complete HVAC system contains both interior and exterior components working in harmony to heat and cool your home on demand. Below is an overview of the main pieces and how they operate:


The thermostat serves as the command hub of your Albuquerque HVAC system. Typically wall-mounted in an easily accessible area, you can manually adjust or program set temperatures and schedules into the unit. Thermostats contain sensitive thermometers to monitor both indoor and outdoor ambient air temperatures.

As outdoor conditions change and temperatures fluctuate, the thermostat triggers your HVAC system to switch modes and circulate air as needed to reach the target indoor environment. For example, as outdoor heat rises on a summer afternoon, the interior space warms. Once the indoor temperature crosses your defined cooling point, the thermostat signals the HVAC unit to activate its air conditioning mode.


Serving as the engine of your Albuquerque HVAC system, the furnace generates and circulates hot or cold air throughout your home depending on whether heating or cooling mode is active. Furnaces utilize different fuel types to produce heated air.

Inside the unit, a blower fan activates to pull air across the hot furnace surface to rapidly raise temperatures. This heated air gets pumped through a network of ducts running throughout your home, releasing warm air from floor or ceiling vents in each room. Quality insulation around ductwork minimizes heat loss when transporting air.

Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is an internal HVAC component that activates during cooling cycles. Constructed from narrow copper tubing and aluminum fins to maximize surface area, refrigerant gas passes through this coil while a fan blows air across it. Through the compression and rapid expansion of the refrigerant, the evaporator coil absorbs ambient heat and provides colder airflows.

The now cooled air gets distributed through the ducting system throughout your home, lowering temperatures in occupied rooms. As warmer household air continues passing over it, the coil eventually saturates with captured heat. It’s then pumped outdoors to the external condenser unit where refrigerant gets condensed back into a liquid state so the cycle can repeat.

Condenser Unit

Responsible for emitting captured heat outdoors, the condenser unit sits outside the home. This protective metal box contains additional copper coils, a compressor, and refrigerant gas. As the saturated evaporator coil from indoor operations passes through this unit, condensed refrigerant liquid gets pressurized via the compressor and pushed back through the system.

Powerful fans and extended condenser coils facilitate rapid heat dissipation into outdoor environments. This allows the attached evaporator coil to continue conducting optimal cooling cycles without oversaturation. The continuous feedback loop of compressed hot gas getting condensed into liquid, then expanded into cold gas upon passing the evaporator coil enables reliable cooling.


HVAC vents facilitate air circulation by allowing cooled or heated air to enter rooms. Vents connect to the network of ductwork running from your furnace and feature adjustable slats to control airflow direction. Typically installed high on walls or ceilings, the angled slats guide air downwards across the room.

Maintaining unblocked vents provides essential airflows during heating and cooling cycles. Furniture placement, rugs, drapes, and dirty vent covers are common reasons for restricted directional airflow. Rotating slat positions also helps direct air to open areas of a room during seasons when that vent gets frequent usage.

Refrigerant Lines

Responsible for shuttling refrigerant between indoor and outdoor components, refrigerant lines are essential for cooling capabilities. These durable, insulated lines provide protected pathways for pressurized gas and liquids as they transfer between the evaporator coil, condenser unit, and back again in a continuous loop.

Two separate copper lines exist – one for transporting high pressure hot gas outdoors to get cooled (discharge line) and a second to bring condensed liquid refrigerant back indoors (liquid line).

Types of Albuquerque HVAC Systems

While the above key components will exist across all HVAC systems, the overall configurations and scope of systems can vary greatly. Below are the main classifications of HVAC units utilized within Albuquerque area homes:

Split System

The split system design separates components indoors and outdoors and is the most common HVAC system installed in Albuquerque homes. With the furnace, evaporator coil, venting, and some ductwork positioned inside and the condenser unit and remainder of the ducts external, split systems leverage existing home infrastructure.

This typical configuration takes advantage of centralized ductwork found in most single-family homes making them easier to retrofit. Temperature controlled air gets distributed through ceiling vents via the network of ducts interconnected with the furnace.

Ductless Mini-Split

Whereas split systems rely on home ducting networks, ductless mini-split HVAC systems work independently. Comprising an exterior condenser unit and one to several wall-mounted indoor evaporator units, mini-splits don’t interface with existing ductwork.

This makes them advantageous for retrofitting homes with non-ducted heating systems or structures lacking ductwork altogether. Each indoor evaporator mounts high on room walls and features integrated blowers to distribute conditioned air. This zone control allows custom heating or cooling just occupied spaces rather than entire homes.

Zoned HVAC System

Zoned HVAC technology divides homes into different comfort areas with customized climate controls. This innovation evolved from the inability of single thermostat split systems to adequately heat or cool every room. Zoning works by incorporating automated dampers within supply ductwork that regulate airflow to various areas.

The motorized dampers interlink with a zoning control panel installed alongside the central thermostat. You define zones across your home then program custom schedules or set temperatures per area. The smart dampers calibrate the appropriate airflow rates upon zone calls to satisfy needs.

Humidity Control

While temperature regulation is an HVAC system’s primary function, monitoring indoor humidity levels also plays a major role in home comfort. Humid conditions can feel just as uncomfortable as high thermometer readings. Consequently, modern HVAC units feature integrated humidifiers and dehumidifiers to balance moisture content.

In dry climates like Albuquerque, winter months often yield humidity levels below 30 percent. Prolonged exposure to parched air can lead to health issues ranging from respiratory illnesses to cracked skin and furniture damage. HVAC humidifiers counteract low humidity by adding moisture into circulating air.


Maintaining pleasant and healthy indoor conditions amid New Mexico’s fluctuating climate depends on properly functioning Albuquerque HVAC systems. Learning the roles of key components like the thermostat, furnace, evaporator coils, condenser unit and vents provides homeowners deeper insight into HVAC functionality.

If considering an upgrade, rely on qualified local HVAC professionals like Day & Night Plumbing, Heating and Cooling for best in class system recommendations and installation.

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